From The New York Times

Publishers and broadcasters have long tried to offer advertisers the right audience for their products. Want to sell pick-ups to people who like sports? Buy ads at halftime during a football game. Selling luggage or airline tickets? Buy ads in the travel section of a newspaper or Web site.

In digital advertising, that formula is being increasingly tested by fast-paced, algorithmic bidding systems that target individual consumers rather than the aggregate audience publishers serve up. In the world of “programmatic buying” technologies, context matters less than tracking those consumers wherever they go. And that kind of buying is the reason that shoe ad follows you whether you’re on Weather.com or on a local news blog.

That shift is punishing traditional online publishers, like newspaper, broadcast and magazine sites, who are receiving a much lower percentage of ad dollars as marketers use programmatic buying across a much broader canvas. Some sites, like CNN.com, refuse to even accept advertising through programmatic buying because they do not want to cede control over what ads will appear.

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